The bells, the paint, the studio cats who complain at the rain. The reflective work, the promotional, the inquiring work, the rehearsals, the gigs, the scheduling work, the self nourishment which since November 9 has increasingly been – hard work.
The grim manifestation of positive, hopeful, pro-active paintings, songs and video as I emerge slow and stiff from the flatline shock of the US election and its results.
I trudge. Plod, sink. Grind my teeth and trudge on.
Never has the political felt more personal to me. We grieve like Sisyphus watching the boulder he pushed up the mountain for one hundred thousand years slide from his grip to roll away and down. It’ll be back at the bottom in mere months, picking up momentum as it goes. He knows he must go after it, push it up again…
The reality of that election, what it means personally and for the world I love has me on the edge of melt-down, all the time. I grit my teeth and trudge, propelled by clean rage – the only engine still running.
Never have I felt so urgent a need to think differently. To find a clearer way to do my job – making/sharing art and music, being human.
Jack Dixon, American author, ‘The Pict’ (2007), ‘The Barn:Memoir of a Family During the Nazi Occupation of Holland in 1940-1945′ (2014), and many more, wrote this:
If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.
This is precisely the time when artists go to work.There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That’s how civilizations heal.
I know from experience that the rage engine, however clean, burns out and in the end costs me months or years of positive energy. The joy engine, the hope and the laughter engines go farther with a far gentler toll. Kindness, love, generosity – these are the best engines of all, and I/we will need them in the months and years ahead. So I search for the means to re-start them, to maintain and fuel them.
I’m making gatherings, since this is a thing we do together, repair and maintenance of joy and friendship.
- Studio tour here (live music, art, functional art, books, honey and a beautiful retrospective show of my dad’s paintings). 10am to 4pm, Circle Bar Art Factory, 1190 2nd Avenue East. Write to me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/events/205689303185216/), or at email@example.com for more information.
- Random Act of Christmas Music with the Cello Choir, at Frog Pond Cafe, 11am – 12:30pm, Saturday December 10. We will play and bring lyrics for those who want to sing. Highly recommended. fb link: https://www.facebook.com/events/209666356146246/
- Get your Wassail On!, at Heartwood Hall, Solstice night, 7pm Wednesday December 21. We’ll bring a string orchestra, lyrics and good cheer, others will bring poems, songs, stories, and good cheer, you can come and bring your voice …and good cheer, in celebration of human beings everywhere as well as here. fb link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1721170268210795/
if you’re not on facebook, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. I would love to tell you more.
See you there, in person or in spirit. All my love to you, truly.